The ongoing pandemic has created a ripple effect across the globe. The uncertainty around the present scenario has resulted in customer behaviour changes that have further transformed the way brandsindulge in their marketing. There is no denial of the fact – thischange is continuing to evolve with the passage of COVID-19 era. Consequently, the process of formulating resilient marketing strategies has been expedited as the brands start to adapt to the new normal amid the pandemic.
Every brand’s marketing efforts revolve around customers. With a long-term psychological shift in customer behaviour, it has become imperative for marketers to develop agile strategies that could win on gaining customer trust. The brands are making continuous efforts to stabilize the persisting situation. So, what’s next that we could expect in the marketing landscape? We have predicted the five most influential trends that are set to reinvent the market post the pandemic era.
Data-driven consumer experience
Given the challenges faced by consumers due to the ongoing pandemic, each brand is preparing to overcome the crisis by making their products and services accessible to consumers with minimal physical contact. To catch up with the upsurge in online usage, marketing teams are expanding their digital borders to tap the target consumers. A strong emphasis on digital channels and e-commerce is critically essential to optimise customers’ touchpoints for a personalised experience.
Furthermore, brands are leveraging on the availability of customer data by developing a strong omnichannel presence. It plays a pivotal role in creating a personalised and narrower customer segmentation for better results. Marketing teams are combining the relevant data and analytics to track customer preferences and behaviours at the granular level.
Digital migration of every sector
The outbreak of the pandemic has amplified the use of digital media not only in the business to the consumer sector, but also in traditional sectors that required physical movement to keep the flow of the work. With inter and intrastate movement restrictions and stay at home orders, the Indian economy has witnessed an upswing in the E-services trend. Majorly, the sectors that required physical interactions such as agriculture, banking, telemedicine, education and many other sectors have had a relatively higher adoption rate of e-services.
The digital migration of traditional sectors during COVID-19 is a clear example of brands caring for their consumers. The marketers are attempting to create digital platforms where they can genuinely offer support to their customers while establishing a strong connection with them. This particular trend provides short-term service to the customers but they are believed to hold the customers’ trust and loyalty event after the pandemic is over.
Implementation of localized marketing strategies
Immediately after the outbreak of COVID-19, every shop and street was completely shutdown. Given the circumstances, brands started to adjust their marketing strategies that were focused on local neighbourhoods. Local search and social media pages provide the best information about local communities. Thus, marketing teams are emphasising on creating a local digital presence to connect with the customers in the desired locations. Leveraging the local communication channels, they are realigning the strategies to communicate with their local customers that are going to continuein the long-run.
To make customers trust the brand during the crisis, the marketing teams are providing value by actively engaging with them through local social media pages. They are sharing up-to-date information with their customers such as the reduced working hours, temporarily closed, etc to remain empathic and build positivity around the uncertainty of the pandemic.
Creating a healthy space for customers
People have become more conscious of stepping out of their home. This trauma is going to last for a while on the minds of the consumers. The traffic in stores and outlets will only be witnessed once the country becomes free from coronavirus. However, marketers are implementing powerful strategies to attract customers and secure their shopping experience. From disinfecting the space to making the staff wear masks and adopt sanitization practices, they are working in sync with the operations and sales team to drive conversions. For instance, many local restaurants and food outlets have started providing scanning facility to the customers to view the food menu in their smartphones rather than touching the physical menu.
Communicating brand purpose
The strength that a brand possesses to make a difference in customers’ life is critically important to communicate.It retains the customers during such an exacerbating crisis when they know – whatthe brand purpose is? What is the real aim of the brand? How is it going to make an impact during a tough time? Thus, marketing teams are becoming proactive in getting ahead of the situation. Proactiveness not only satisfies the customers but also succeeds in turning them into loyal brand advocates in the future. Putting them first while defining their brand purpose is establishing a strong brand communication channel with its customers.
The agility in formulating marketing strategies specific to the present situation is going to endure for a long. Brands are deploying marketing tools and using methods that will stay even when the pandemic subdues. Marketing teams are being vigorous and embracing the culture of adaptation to keep themselves ever-ready for new market challenges coming up everyday.
Written by Ms. Yogita Tulsiani, MD & Co-founder, iXceed Solutions